Meet and greet with your English-speaking guide / driver in the hotel lobby, from where you will be taken for a 2-hour drive by luxurious private vehicle to Overloon, for a guided tour of the War Museum Overloon.
The museum was opened on May 25th, 1946, making it one of the oldest museums in Europe dedicated to the Second World War. It is located on the site of the Battle of Overloon, a World War II tank and infantry battle between Allied and German forces that occurred in September and October 1944, in the aftermath of Operation Market Garden.
The museum is set in 14 hectares of woodland. A feature of the museum is the large number of military vehicles and equipment on display, both German and Allied. For years these have been kept in the open air but have recently been moved indoors in order to help preserve them. Many of the exhibited vehicles took part in the Battle of Overloon. In 2006, the collection was expanded with a large number of vehicles from a private collection. oorlogsmuseum.nl/en/
There is leisure time for lunch at the museum or in the village center.
Fully refreshed, we continue with a 50-minute drive to the picturesque village Oosterbeek, for a guided tour of the Airborne Museum.
The Airborne museum, located in the original Villa Hartenstein, reopened in 2020 after a large renovation. It shows the course of events during the Battle of Arnhem, which took place in September 1944. The “Battle for the Rhine Bridge” was part of the operation “Market Garden”. British, American and Polish airborne forces were to capture the bridges over rivers and waterways from the Belgian border to Arnhem. There is an interesting video presentation where the course of the battle is set out. There are a large number of photographs, video with footage of the battle, authentic uniforms, equipment, weapons and other objects present a picture, both from the Allied and from the German point of view.
The awarded underground Airborne Experience showcases the war in all its intensity. Here you will feel the impact of the violence on the young boys who were desperately fighting for their lives. You will follow in the footsteps of a British parachutist. You are briefed on the mission, board a glider and through the windows you can see it taking off from England and fly to the occupied Netherlands. Suddenly, you are amidst the bitter fighting in the streets of Arnhem. You wander through imposing war scenes created with authentic footage, surrounded by cleverly constructed dummy buildings. Light, and the lack of it, is used ominously against an audio backdrop of the annihilating war: gunshots, explosions, shouting in English, orders in German, frightened people in hiding. You approach the Arnhem Bridge and follow the retreat to the perimeter around Hartenstein Hotel. Finally, you retreat back down the Rhine River. It’s an intense experience.
The guide will also take you through any must see ‘temporary’ exhibits. If none are available, you will be taken to the nearby Arnhem/Oosterbeek War Cemetery where 1684 English (mostly), Polish and Dutch soldiers are buried. www.airbornemuseum.com
From here, you will be taken back to your hotel in Amsterdam, where you have the remainder of the day for your own leisure. You will arrive back in Amsterdam around 5pm.